Salespeople often blame their clients for indecision. Many prefer blame to taking responsibility for their lack of results. This approach doesn’t help the bank balance. Instead of thinking the worst of people, why not think the best?
I believe that most people are FAIR.
Indecision has a cause. Sure, some people don’t want to sell. Calling them sellers doesn’t mean they are. Some buyers don’t want to buy. Calling them buyers doesn’t mean they are. But these people are the minority – most people active in the market either want to buy, want to sell, or both.
The sellers and buyers accused of indecision, being greedy, bargain hunters; etc. don’t buy or sell because they don’t know the market. They don’t have the knowledge they need to make a sensible decision.
These people comprise buyers who are fair people willing to pay a fair price for the right properties – once they come to know the market – and sellers, who are willing to accept a fair price for their properties once they know the market. Most are fair. They just need more knowledge so that they can comfortably offer, or accept an offer. Knowledge is power.
Instead of blaming them for indecision, why don’t we try and understand them, and help them? Believe people to be fair and act on that assumption. Coach them to an understanding of the market and they will sell or buy.
The late Stephen Covey said, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood“. This is sound advice.
Many salespeople have this the other way around. In a hurry to get into their presentations, they seek first to be understood, and treat seeking to understand as an ‘optional extra’.
You may think you have trouble qualifying buyers, but I don’t believe you do. Qualifying is a basic skill. Most sales courses teach how to do this adequately. So why doesn’t every buyer you meet buy? There are three reasons:
- They can’t afford the property they want in the area where they are looking. Let’s get this straight. If somebody can’t afford what they want in the area where they want to buy, they are NOT buyers. They are DREAMERS. Face up to this and don’t allow them to waste your time by showing them properties that are out of their budgets.
- You haven’t got what they want. This is simple – don’t show them properties that do not suit them. Prospect and find a property that will suit.
- They are not ready. Understand this and help them get market knowledge. I don’t mean show them house after house, but you can help them do some research – guide them to auctions and websites for example.
No buyer wants to be ridiculed by their friends for paying too high a price for their new home. Most will pay a fair price – eventually – but nobody wants to pay over the odds.
Once they know what a fair price is for the property they want to buy, they will begin making fair offers and will soon buy, providing their wants match their budgets. Before then they will resist any attempt to close them.
If a buyer makes an offer that you believe is too low, ask this question, “Do you really believe that is fair?“ If they say, “Yes“, ask, “Why?”. You may be pleasantly surprised how such a question can elicit a fairer offer.
Too many salespeople don’t understand that sellers resist suggestions of price reductions, or resist fair offers, because the sellers don’t know the market.
They don’t know the market well enough to know that the offer is fair. They don’t know that the price reduction you just suggested won’t cause them to sell too cheaply. They don’t know the market and they won’t sell until they do.
It’s a big mistake to think that just because sellers sign listing agreements it means that they are ready to SELL. All it means is that they are ready to SIGN. They are ready to put their properties onto the market. But it’s an entirely different state of readiness between being ready to sell and being ready to sign.
Once listed, sellers need market knowledge to move them to the position where they are ready to sell. It’s your job to give them that knowledge. And you have to do it without conditioning.
Lose that word, ‘Conditioning’.
Agents often tell sellers good news during the listing presentation, and then bombard the sellers with negativity and bad news during the subsequent marketing campaign.
Work on an understanding that sellers want to sell, and that they are fair-minded people, and that the only reason they resist price reductions or fair offers is that they don’t know what a fair price for their property is. Help them. Coach them.
During the listing presentation set them up for a weekly price discussion once the marketing is under way. Every week you will review the marketing that has been conducted in the past week, discuss buyer activity, review the current asking price and determine what price the property will be offered at in the coming week.
And then do it. Conduct the weekly price discussion and reduce the price incrementally until you and the sellers see buyer activity. Sellers need evidence that you are working to get them their current asking price, and they need to hear what buyers are saying – or not saying; if there are no inspections, the price is too high.
Drip feed them evidence about the market and what buyers think of their property at its current price and eventually the sellers will develop an understanding of the market and accept a fair offer.
People want to be seen as fair. Always assume that your clients are fair and most will live up to that expectation.
Fairness is a great sales tool. Fair buyers will make fair offers – once they know the market. Fair sellers will accept fair offers – once they know the market.
Assume fairness and help them to learn the market. You will make sales, and friends.